This paper focuses on the workplace consequences of both descriptive gender stereotypes (designating what women and men are like) and prescriptive gender stereotypes (designating what women and men should be like), and their implications for women's career progress. Its central argument is that gender stereotypes give rise to biased judgments and decisions, impeding women's advancement. The paper discusses how descriptive gender stereotypes promote gender bias because of the negative performance expectations that result from the perception that there is a poor fit between what women are like and the attributes believed necessary for successful performance in male gender-typed positions and roles. It also discusses how prescriptive gender stereotypes promote gender bias by creating normative standards for behavior that induce disapproval and social penalties when they are directly violated or when violation is inferred because a woman is successful. Research is presented that tests these ideas, considers specific career consequences likely to result from stereotype-based bias, and identifies conditions that exaggerate or minimize the likelihood of their occurrence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management